“Till there’s a reputable, sturdy answer to crime and homelessness within the downtown core, I feel Seattle may have a tough time luring tech firms again. … Seattle’s authorities leaders have to ship a transparent sign that it desires companies to return again downtown.”
That was the sentiment expressed by Scott Moore, the CEO of Seattle startup Ad Lightning, in GeekWire’s coverage this week of a brand new effort by a coalition of downtown enterprise leaders and non-profit representatives to overtake town’s method to the difficulty of homelessness. Seattle is “turning into uncompetitive” in comparison with communities on the Eastside, Moore stated.
On this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, the previous Microsoft, Yahoo and Cheezburger government joins GeekWire’s Mike Lewis and John Cook dinner to debate his experiences additional. He explains why Advert Lightning exited its downtown Seattle lease final 12 months and doesn’t plan to return to Seattle at any time when its staff resume working in individual.
In related news this week, Amazon stated it expects most U.S. company workplace employees again within the workplace by early fall, together with its headquarters campus north of downtown Seattle. On the similar time, Amazon is boosting its presence in close by Bellevue, Wash., with plans to make use of 25,000 individuals there.
As a resident of Seattle for greater than 30 years, and a present metropolis council member within the Eastside metropolis of Clyde Hill, Moore stated on the present that he didn’t make the choice to exit downtown Seattle evenly, and he’s not completely happy about it.
“However what I’ve noticed in notably the final 5 to 10 years is an perspective in Seattle that I might characterize as anti-business, and form of anti-job, and that definitely has accelerated in the previous few years,” he stated. “And it’s unlucky.”
Moore cited Seattle’s head tax proposal as one instance of the anti-business setting. The tax on town’s top-grossing firms, meant to deal with homelessness, was repealed shortly after it passed in 2018 amid opposition from Amazon and others.
As well as, Moore referenced infrastructure issues, site visitors congestion, and the homelessness disaster. However crime is the larger challenge, he stated, pointing for instance to the shooting that took place in January 2020 outdoors his window in downtown Seattle’s Gibraltar Constructing.
“Proper now, the ledger is biased in opposition to Seattle, in my thoughts, principally due to the crime,” Moore stated. “I’ve received a number of staff that don’t really feel protected in downtown. After which on high of that the transit issues. … And if you happen to examine these components to the Eastside, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and even down Renton goes to do nicely. All of those areas are principally in competitors with downtown Seattle. And I feel they’re going to profit on account of Seattle’s issues.”
Seattle’s authorities, he stated, “has to ship a really clear sign that they need tech jobs within the metropolis.”
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Podcast edited and produced by Curt Milton. Music by Daniel L.Ok. Caldwell.